Wednesday, October 15, 2014


Today is Infant and Pregnancy Loss Awareness Day.  A day I didn't know existed until last autumn: the first October I lived with the burden of having lost a child.
Since then Andrew and I have learned a lot about why it took us fourteen months to become pregnant... but we don't have answers as to why our baby died.  And I know we will never fully understand.
I am so thankful for the many opportunities God has given me to share about my hurt, my struggles, and how women have come out of the woodwork in this sisterhood of loss and/or infertility.  I am blessed to know that my honesty has touched aching hearts.  It serves as a reminder to me that nothing is wasted when your life belongs to the Lord.  Promise's short life has already served such a glorious purpose in giving me the opportunity to love and encourage so many beautiful ladies.
But that never means that I wouldn't give up everything to have my child here with me.  It is a pain that never leaves.  A memory that both glows and stings.
And knowing that it has been over fourteen months since losing our baby and I still show no signs of becoming pregnant again... that is a daunting, discouraging, steal-my-joy-away thought.
Thank God I have placed my faith in someone bigger than my fears and hurts.  My struggles may rise like towering cliffs, but He is the mover of mountains.  He is my soul's Lover, my Healer, my Comforter, and my HOPE.  It is because of His pure love for me, His suffering and pain, His power over death, that I can continue this path... even if it is a valley of confusion and hopes deferred.  He has saved me from hopelessness.  And He has saved me to heaven... where my child waits for me.
What a beautiful truth amidst the tears.
both images via pinterest
Missing you more with each day, Promise.  Sanity is only possible because each day is one closer to holding you.  Mommy and Daddy love you forever and ever.  We hope and pray to add other lives is this little family of ours, children that we have the chance to meet and raise... but you will never be forgotten.  
 A piece of my heart is with you.  <3

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

october days

"the world is indeed full of peril and in it there are many dark places.  but still there is much that is fair.  and though in all lands, love is now mingled with grief, it still grows, perhaps, the greater."  j.r.r. tolkien
The days have been cooler, hugs have been tighter, and coffee has tasted even better. 
October-so-far has been giving myself bangs one day because I was bored, inventing a healthier mocha frappe, boating with my hubby (never before been out on a raft until last week.  I now officially love it.), going to see a spectacular play with Andrew and his parents, learning to love little ones who push my buttons (children's ministry isn't all sunshine and giggles), knowing that I can barely (and with tears) survive a weekend alone while my husband is out hunting, and realizing more and more how important it is to just be myself.
Oh, and it has also been finding way too many bugs (including cockroaches and spiders) in my house.  Not even mildly appropriate... bugs don't seem to understand that though.
 And October-looking-ahead?  In less than two weeks my sisters will be sitting on the couch with me, soothing this aching-for-family heart of mine.  I'm so excited for morning coffee and midnight ramblings with two of my favorite people.
What about your October?

Thursday, October 2, 2014

recipe... spicy chicken/italian soup

Hello friends!  It's that time of year again; the months of yummy casseroles and warm soups.  It is my favorite time of the year, so I thought I'd share a favorite meal in our home (one that Andrew and I have warped to be healthy as well as delicious and super-easy!).  While I usually do all of the cooking during the weekdays, this is one Andrew and I tackle together!  I'm in charge of the chicken while Andrew is soup-master!
Spicy/Buffalo Chicken (by Rachel)
Fresh (or thawed) chicken tenderloins (we do 6-8 and have extra for the two of us)
1 T. Coconut/Olive Oil
Buffalo Chicken Seasoning (I don't like using anything pre-made, so below is the list of spices I use!  This makes a decent batch that I keep in a sealed container.)
2 1/2 T. paprika
2 T. garlic powder
1 T. salt
1 T. onion powder
1 T. thyme
1 T cayenne pepper
1 T. black pepper
Melt coconut oil on a skillet at medium/high heat.  Add chicken and sprinkle with as much of the seasoning as you desire (just keep in mind, the more seasoning, the hotter it gets!!!).  Cook until chicken in no longer pink in the middle!
That's it!!!

Italian Soup (by Andrew)
chicken broth
 rotini pasta (we use Dreamfields, which is THM approved)
1 tomato, diced
Italian seasoning
Mrs. Dash (tomato basil garlic)
Mrs. Dash (original blend)
parmesan cheese (optional)

(Note: my hubby doesn't measure things, so just use as much chicken broth and pasta as you need for the amount of people you are feeding.  Once you are adding spices, you can start with some big shakes of each and then go by taste from there!)
Bring chicken broth to a boil with seasonings and tomato.  Add pasta, cooking it like you normally would in water (adjust seasonings if needed). 
When pasta is soft, remove from heat.
Once in a bowl, Andrew likes to top his soup with additional Mrs. Dash (original blend) and I do that as well as adding some parmesan cheese!

How you eat this with the chicken is entirely up to you!  Sometimes I'll eat my chicken and soup back and forth, or I'll just cut up my chicken and add it to the soup!  It's wonderful either way!  Only warning: if you don't do well with somewhat spicy food, you may want a glass of water nearby.  :-)
Bon Appetite!!!